Trinity Stormwater Park

Trinity Stormwater Park is an urban neighborhood park built above a two-million-gallon underground stormwater retention facility. The park receives stormwater runoff from 24 acres of downtown Evansville, holding it underground and slowly releasing it to reduce flooding. Prior to being a park, the site was home to Holy Trinity Catholic Church for over 150 years. When the church relocated to a larger site, the city bought the land and buildings. Numerous elements of the mid-century modern sanctuary were salvaged for re-use within the park.


Client:

Evansville Water and Sewer Utility

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Location:

Evansville, IN

Team:

Completed:

Services:

Landscape Architecture

In Association With:

Beam Longest and Neff

Awards:

Photography:

Working with a site program developed by a University of Evansville ChangeMaker Challenge program, we developed a plan that embraces change by blending salvaged materials into new features and amenities – the old church materials become the new park. The park acts as an informal front yard for adjacent high-density housing, incorporating informal seating, gathering spaces, an accessible walking loop, and a stormwater retention basin. Waterflows from the street through runnels under the sidewalks into bioswales. The planted bioswales guide water to the retention basin. Interpretive signs inform visitors about the site’s history and its flood prevention features.

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The granite from the minimalist church steeple was salvaged and laid flat on site to create a plinth that juts into the water basin. The plinth can serve as an informal stage for events. Salvaged limestone and granite veneer is reshaped into low seat walls along the park paths. Limestone copings and broken veneer shards line the bioswales. Six abstract stained-glass windows from the sanctuary are restored and displayed in new illuminated three-sided kiosks.  The formerly tree-less impervious site boasts event lawns, native pollinator plant beds, wetland plantings, and 42 trees.

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